*See update note below.
De music truck.
Not too long ago it was the norm to have at least two music trucks replete with live bands in any large or even medium band for carnival. By bands I mean a group of musicians and professional singers, maybe even a back-up singer or two, and horns. Larger bands would have at least two live bands, a couple DJ trucks and even a truck dedicated to a rhythm section or tassa drummers. There weren’t any drink or food trucks and definitely not porta-john trucks that appear to now be mandatory with the all-inclusive bands. Independent vendors made more money, and there was a sense that carnival was more inclusive. That not too long ago was as recent as 2002. Pictured above, the legendary David Rudder and Charlie’s Roots accompanying Peter Minshall’s 2002 presentation Picolpat leaving the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah on Carnival Tuesday.
*I’ve been asked to differentiate between a carnival mas band and a music band. In Trinidad a group of people in costume under one organized theme, perhaps in various sections, with the same leadership committee, initiating point etc. is referred to as a band. In Panama they’re called a comparsa, in New Orleans they’re sometimes referred to as a troupe. So every mas band is generally accompanied by a music band and/or DJ. Back in the day it would predominantly be steelbands, and before that, “pan around the neck.” But that’s all for another post. 😉